A volume in the series Disseminations: Psychoanalysis in Contexts
Insightful and accessible critique of postmodern ethics.
Talmudic scholar and postmodern philosopher Emmanuel Levinas was one of the 20th-century's most important philosophers. Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Luce Irigaray and Jean-François Lyotard were among the thinkers most influenced by Levinas. Drawing upon both the object relations tradition in psychoanalysis, as well as the work of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, C. Fred Alford argues that postmodern ethics such as that inspired by Levinas risk devaluing ordinary human attachments in favor of relationships "without relation," as Levinas puts it. An accessible introduction to Levinas and an insightful critique of the Frankfurt School, this book will be a valuable contribution to the fields of philosophy, critical theory and psychoanalysis. -- from the publisher
"Alford's broad conversation, with Winnicott, Murdoch Adorno, Greek tragedy and, always, the reader - focused on Levinas and thus on ethics, eros and infinity - is intense, complex and lucid. Best of all, compelling and expanding."-Martin Gliserman, Associate Prof. of English, Editor Emeritus, American Imago, Rutgers University
"Using the tools of Frankfurt School Critical Theory and psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory, Alford provides a sober challenge to the assumption that Levinas can serve as the guiding spirit of ethical practice in a postmodern age."-Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman, Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley
About the Author:
C. Fred Alford is Professor of Government at the University of Maryland, College Park. His most recent books include Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power (2001) and What Evil Means to Us (1997).